Club spokesman: Vick left minutes before shooting
June 30, 2010
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The spokesman for the nightclub where Michael Vick held his birthday bash says the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback left in a car minutes before a shooting outside, contradicting Vick’s attorney’s timeline.
Vick’s attorney, Larry Woodward, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Vick left the establishment at least 10 minutes, and perhaps as many as 20 minutes, before the shooting.
Allen Fabijan, spokesman for Guadalajara Mexican restaurant and nightclub, said Wednesday that time-stamped footage from a surveillance camera outside the entrance of the club shows a car with Vick inside leaving at 2:07 a.m. – about 4 minutes before the shooting a block away.
Woodward did not return calls from the AP on Wednesday.
Fabijan said police have asked the club not to release the video to media but allowed the AP to view the grainy footage on Wednesday.
Vick’s face is not discernible; a man wearing white that Fabijan said is Vick appears moving toward a parked car at 2:04 a.m. A crowd quickly gathered, and Fabijan said Vick accommodated fans trying to get an autograph, to pose for a photo or to shake hands – so much so that a club security guard tries to disperse the crowd.
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The waiting car pulls away at 2:07 a.m. in the direction of the eventual shooting. Numerous people are seen lingering in front of the club for several minutes until, at 2:10:55, they suddenly appear to duck for cover.
Police spokesman Adam Bernstein, who said authorities have a copy of the video, said the first 911 call was received at 2:11.
Fabijan said Vick was not involved in any altercations during the hour he was inside, or immediately outside, the restaurant/nightclub.
Vick, accompanied by Woodward, was interviewed by police on Monday. Police say Vick is not a suspect and have not identified the shooting victim. Woodward, however, told the AP that it was Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant in Vick’s dogfighting case.
Woodward said that Vick was not involved in the shooting and does not know who shot Phillips.
The NFL and the Eagles have said they are looking into the matter.
NFL commissioner Goodell told Vick when he reinstated him that his margin for error was “extremely limited.” One rule of Vick’s probation is that he is not allowed to be in the company of other felons.
Phillips, who was sentenced to 21 months, was not an invited guest, according to Woodward. The party – dubbed “Michael Vick’s ALL WHITE 30th Birthday Bash” – was promoted on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
When contacted about having the party at Guadalajara, Fabijan said the party promoter said Vick would be back in the area as part of a public relations tour to repair his image.
Vick, who filed for bankruptcy in July 2008, has previously allowed his named to be used to promote parties – including one in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in late May. He is entering the second year of a contract with the Eagles that will pay him $5.2 million this season.
Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, who agreed to mentor the quarterback in his return, has been in touch with Vick since the incident.
Dungy said in an e-mail that “the only thing he is guilty of is using bad judgment and attending and publicizing parties open to the public and utilizing his name to get people there. Hopefully he learns from this.”